SyncPen: A digital pen that uses real paper and an LCD pad received and tested
The SyncPen is a pen that can digitize written content. Specifically, according to the manufacturer, a camera is used that recognizes movements as they are applied to special paper or the LCD pad. The system also supports the recognition of handwriting and formulas via the associated app and can record voice notes.
The SyncPen is a high-quality-looking pen made of metal. The device is not too unwieldy, although the diameter is slightly larger than those of cheaper disposable ballpoint pens. The workmanship appears solid, and the writing experience offered by the pen feels smooth.
The pen itself contains a memory unit that can record pen movements, so the system does not always have to be paired with a smartphone to function.
Use with the notebook
Newyes has a special notebook with hatched pages, and this hatched design makes it possible for the pen to recognize what is being written. It also allows the pen to recognize which page is being written on. As a result, writing to a page, flipping to another, and then coming back to add more information is possible. The pen, of course, does not work with regular commercially available paper; this means that the practical use of the SyncPen could radically drop if the manufacturer stops creating the special paper.
Use with the LCD pad
A new feature is an LCD pad offered by Newyes that enables users to avoid paper altogether. The LCD pad has a 21 x 14 centimeter area where users can write. Writing with the pen leaves green stripes, which can be erased with the push of a button. Centimeter and inch markings are present on the left and right.
Several buttons are present on the bottom. A page can be closed, a voice memo started, and the note sent directly by email. There is also a way to adjust the color and line thickness of the pen.
The writing experience is also good on the LCD pad. It has a matte plastic surface, so writing on it feels similar to writing on regular paper; in contrast to glass surfaces, the matte plastic surface has a bit more grip.
The functionality of the LCD pad is also uncomplicated and works well. Updates are possible via the app.
The SyncPen 2 is surprisingly unspectacular - but it works. If you like to take handwritten notes and appreciate a very, very simple user experience, the SyncPen is a good choice. Alternatively, it is of course possible to use a digitizer on a tablet or convertible, but the SyncPen is much more subtle, especially when used with its high-quality notebooks. That said, a digitizer offers slightly higher quality writing reproduction thanks to pen pressure.
The SyncPen is great for situations where written documentation is absolutely necessary, but for reasons of data security and easier data processing, a digital version must also be created. This occurs in some specially regulated industries; data protection laws could also have an impact.
While the recognition of the handwriting and formulas is surprisingly good even with fairly poor handwriting, the actual app, while usable, is fairly unstable. At the very least, though, we did not lose any notes during our test. The export system works well.
Supplies for the pen are reasonably priced: The manufacturer is offering two 80-sheet notebooks for $23, which, given their high quality, is a more than acceptable price.